Comfort women memorial erected near NYC

August 5, 2014
A memorial is erected in Union City, New Jersey, for women forced into sexual slavery by the military of Imperial Japan during World War II. (Yonhap)

A memorial is erected in Union City, New Jersey, for women forced into sexual slavery by the military of Imperial Japan during World War II. (Yonhap)

A memorial to Korean and other Asian women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese troops during World War II was erected in a county in Union City, N.J., on Monday. Two Korean former comfort women were present at the unveiling ceremony.

The monument is the seventh of its kind in the United States.

Over the past few years, six other such monuments have been put up across the country to remember the hundreds of thousands of women and girls from Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, the Netherlands and Indonesia who were forced into prostitution.

A butterfly-shaped stone on a sculpture located in the city’s Liberty Plaza symbolizes the hope of escape and freedom that the young women maintained while they were held captive in Japanese brothels.

The monument is the first that a local U.S. government has raised funds for and erected. All six previous monuments were funded by associations of Korean residents in the United States.

“It’s about human rights, it’s about education,” said Union City Mayor Brian Stack, who delivered a speech during the unveiling ceremony. “Educating our youth about what took place in the past, so we don’t make the same mistakes again.”

Former Korean comfort women Lee Ok-seon, 87, and Kang Il-chool, 86, attended the ceremony.

“It is not within our power to solve the problems ourselves,” Lee said. “Japan is not listening and I would like to ask for your help to resolve this as soon as possible.”

Recently, the two Korean women met with U.S. White House and State Department officials in a closed meeting.

 ”We’re taking a meaningful step to show our moral support, sense of camaraderie, and our sharing of the pain that our Korean American brothers and sisters feel about this issue,” Councilman Zareh Sinanyan said.


  1. moguro fukuzo

    August 5, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Why don’t you Americans build a memorial of the comfort women servied the US troops in Korea?

  2. true fact

    August 6, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    I was shocked at this article.

    S. Korean ‘comfort women’ for US military sue state for forced prostitution

    A group of South Korean former “comfort women”, who worked in state-controlled brothels for the US military after the 1950-53 Korean War, has reportedly filed a suit demanding compensation from the authorities for forced prostitution.
    It’s the first time that such legal action has been taken regarding the brothels, or “special areas” that were sanctioned by the South Korean government, The Asahi Shimbun media outlet reported.

  3. konohazuku001

    August 6, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Based on these following facts,there was no Korean comfort-woman unwillingly kidnapped by Japanese army or officials.
    1.No one knows the names of the villages or towns where the comfort-women were actually kidnapped.
    2.So far as the comfort-women kidnapping issue is concerned, there is no obvious record which had been written before 1990s.
    3.It is quite strange that so many as 200,000 victims had kept silence from 1945 to the 1990s.
    4.A large amount of money were paid to the Comfort-women in reward for their jobs. Back in those days,it was not a rare case that poor parents necessarily sold their daughters to get money.
    5.There have been no witnesses who can testify the kidnapping incidents. If there had been many comfort-women who were kidnapped, there must have been many witnesses. But nobody saw the incident.
    6.There was no real testimony by the kidnappers. It was already proved that Seiji Yoshida’s testimony was absolutely false statements. At that time in Korea, most of policemen and officials were Koreans, not Japanese.
    7.There was no protest opposing to the kidnapped comfort-women.If there had been kidnapped comfort-women as real events, riots must have been raised.
    8.In Korea, from time immemorial to now ,there always have been many prostitutes. In the period of the World WarII,it is quite natural that there must have been prostitution markets there.
    9.Most of Korean comfort-women say “I was sold.” or “I was deceived.” A small number of women say “I was kidnapped.” The credibility of their testimonies are in question. The contentions are rather suspect evidences.
    10.Although The Japan-Korea Basic Relations Treaty was concluded in 1965, South Korea currently lodges various reasons in order to draw out as much money as possible from Japan.
    However,at the time of the conclusion of the treaty, they never argued about the comfort-women issue at all.

  4. Mogro Fuuzo

    March 22, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    If you seriously want to know about the Comfort Women Issue, you should watch the following two interviews.

    Ikuhiko Hata & Yasuaki Onuma: “Panel Discussion on Comfort Women Issue”

    Michael Yon IB Interview

  5. Mogro Fuuzo

    November 3, 2015 at 11:07 AM

    Korean activists in the US achieved great success in instigating and stoking the fire of hatred between Japan and S. Korea. Japanese companies’ direct investment in S. Korea in 2014 dropped by 45% of that of 2012. The number of Japanese tourists visiting S. Korea in 2014 dropped to 2/3 compared to that of 2014. There is end of this decreasing in sight.

    It is not PM Abe who created this situation. It is South Korean people who caused Japanese to hate them. Americans, who cooperate with S. Koreans in their defamation campaign against Japan, should have some lion’s share in creating this situation.